Van Oord has been awarded a DPC Innovation Award for its innovative and sustainable approach to a land reclamation project in the Maldives.
The company won the award in the ‘Innovation in Project Design – Open Water/ Coastal Dredging’ category.
According to the organizers, the judges admired this totally rounded project with its large number of challenges – reclaiming land in the Maldives by enlarging a number of islands, protecting them with rock revetments and making much-needed development possible.
Van Oord enlarged three islands in the Maldives to make room for the fast-growing population, especially at the capital Male. Marine environment experts were involved to minimize the impact of the work on the marine environment.
One of the most notable procedures was the relocation of coral species, shifting them away from the reclamation areas and preserving them in a suitable area. Environmental engineers as well as Save the Beach, a local NGO were actively involved in monitoring the reefs.
The reclamation works have proven to be very valuable to the government of the Maldives as it continues to develop the nation and alleviate the congestion in Male, said Van Oord. The Maldives Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure can now spread government and social facilities over other islands and improve accessibility to, for example, mosques, hospitals and trade hubs.